Bhubaneswar: A seven-day training program on “Operation and Maintenance of Micro Hydro Plants” was jointly organised by Practical Action and Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), and held at OUAT premises, Bhubaneswar from August 20 to 27, 2018. The program was supported by USAID and Clean Energy Access Network (CLEAN), India and brought together more than 20 beneficiaries from the Micro Hydro powered villages in the remote districts of Odisha, electro-mechanical practitioners, M. Tech students and various other stakeholders. The objective of the programme was to help build the capacity of the different stakeholders and institutionalise the knowledge of the Micro Hydro Plants (MHP) in the state of Odisha.
Practical Action has been working on micro-hydro village electrification schemes for over 25 years. This community based renewable energy technology has proven to be an appropriate energy solution for remote villages which are not connected to the main electricity grid. The continued success of community based micro-hydroelectricity schemes, however, depends on the cooperative relations between the members managing and operating the schemes and their relations with developers and other stakeholders. Members of electrified households and their representative consumer society need to operate and maintain the scheme efficiently and adequately, for the community continue to enjoy the use of electricity. Thus, for the smooth running of a micro-hydro village electrification scheme, proper operation and attending to at least preventive maintenance, this training on “Operation and Maintenance of Micro Hydro Plants” was organised.
Welcoming the participants, India Program Coordinator, Practical Action, Dr. Birupakshya Dixit, said, “This can be the best combination of practitioners and the academia to build and maintain the knowledge base for MHP in the state.”
Also, speaking at the inauguration meeting, COO, CLEAN, India, Mr. Harihara Mohapatra, said, “CLEAN has been promoting such initiatives around India but OUAT being among the oldest and reputed technical universities in the state and country as well, brings much value to such initiatives.”
Dean, College of Agricultural engineering and Technology (CAET), Bhubaneswar, Dr. Sanjay Das along with Head of Department, Farm Machineries and Power, Dr Debaraj Behera, and heads of other Departments, besides Lead-Energy, Practical Action, Mr. Sanjit Kumar Behera also addressed the participants speaking on MHP, its success and importance of the training in the context of Renewable Energy promotion in the state and the country.
Over the seven days, the participants were oriented on the basics of Micro-Hydro Plants (MHP), community management of micro- hydro power projects, its technical aspects. Community members effectively shared their personal stories about the success of MHP in their villages and the impact it had on their lives. They also led the discussion in examining the challenges faced in the operation and maintenance of MHP. “Such kind of training and exposure to technical labs of the university are eye openers to us in ensuring sustainability of the plants,” shared Mr. Hanaka Tadingi of Badamanjari MHP village, Koraput.
The training program also included a two day field visit to Ballimusti and Dangarpadar MHPs in Kandhamal district for onsite practical sessions on the operation and maintenance of MHP, besides a final feedback, discussion and networking session of the participants.
Practical Action is a non-governmental organisation that uses technology to challenge poverty, working with poor women and men around the world. For more information, please visit https://practicalaction.org/